Huskers name four captains for 2016 season

By: Sports

Courtesy: Husker Athletics

The Nebraska football program announced on Saturday evening that four players have been voted by their teammates as captains for the 2016 season. The group consists of four Husker seniors, two each on offense and defense. Two of the captains are second-year captains.

Offensively, a pair of fifth-year seniors will serve as captains including wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp and center Dylan Utter. On the defensive side, inebacker Josh Banderas and safety Nathan Gerry will represent the Blackshirts as captains for the 2016 season.

Coach Riley also announced after practice that Nebraska will have an additional game captain each week to honor Sam Foltz.

Westerkamp and Gerry will serve as captains for the second consecutive season, and become just the ninth and 10th two-time captains in school history.

A Chicago-area product, Westerkamp has 129 career receptions and is poised to challenge the Huskers’ all-time receiving records in 2016. Westerkamp’s selection marks the fourth straight year a receiver has served as a Nebraska captain, including Kenny Bell in 2014 and Quincy Enunwa in 2013.

Gerry is also in his second season as a captain, and enters his third year as a starting safety for the Huskers. Gerry has nine career interceptions and his career tackle total ranks fifth in school history among defensive backs. The Sioux Falls, S.D., native is among a group of four defensive backs to be captains since 2013, joining Ciante Evans in 2013 and Corey Cooper and Josh Mitchell in 2014.

Utter and Banderas are both Nebraska natives, with Utter hailing from Papillion and Banderas a hometown product and graduate of Lincoln Southwest High School. The selection of Utter and Banderas as captains marks the 11th straight year a Nebraska native has been named a team captain.

Utter is one of two returning starters on the offensive line for Nebraska in 2016. After starting at guard last season, Utter will be the Huskers’ center in 2016. The selection of Utter marks the fourth straight year an offensive lineman has been a captain, joining Spencer Long in 2013, Jake Cotton in 2014 and Alex Lewis in 2015. Utter is also the third player in four seasons to serve as a captain after originally joining the program as a walk-on, joining Long (2013) and Jack Gangwish (2015).

Banderas is a second-generation Husker and will man the middle of the Nebraska defense at middle linebacker. Banderas has been a key member of the Blackshirts since his freshman season, and recorded 61 tackles in his junior season. He is the second captain from Lincoln in three seasons, joining Jake Cotton (2014).